OSyM Participants

    • Type of Researcher
    Members
    Dianna Padilla
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    Stony Brook University
    Deparment of Ecology and Evolution
    dianna.padilla@stonybrook.edu
    Research Summary

    My research focuses on phenotypically plastic responses of organisms to environmental change, functional morphology and ecology of marine invertebrates and algae, life histories of marine invertebrates, and invasion biology.


    Biographical Info

    Dianna grew up in Wyomig, recevied Bachelors Degrees in Biological Oceanography and Zoology and the University of Washington, a MS in Zoology at Oregon State University, and PhD at the University of Alberta, Canada, and was a postdoc at Cornell before taking a job at the University of Wisconsin. After 8 years she left Wisconsin and moved to Stony Brook.


    Keywords: functional ecology, phenotypic plasticity, responses to climate change, marine invertebrates, functional morphology, invasion biololgy
    Matthew Reidenbach
    Biomechanic, Engineer
    Professor
    University of Virginia
    University of Virginia
    reidenbach@virginia.edu
    Matt Reidenbach research website
    Research Summary

    My primary area of research is environmental fluid dynamics, with an emphasis on fluid-biological interactions in coastal environments. Current studies include the effects of flow and turbulence on nutrient exchange in coral reefs, larval transport in estuaries, chemical dispersion in the coastal ocean, and wave dynamics. I also study biomechanics of marine organisms, including olfaction and mechano-sensing in lobsters, crabs, crayfish, and larvae.


    Biographical Info

    I am a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia.


    Corey Rennolds
    Organismal Biologist
    PhD candidate
    University of Maryland, College Park
    Biological Sciences program, Bely Lab
    rennolds@umd.edu
    Research Summary

    I am broadly interested in ecophysiology, toxicology, aquatic ecology, and invertebrate zoology. My doctoral work is concerned with the physiological costs and ecological consequences of injury and regeneration in annelids. In particular, I am investigating how the loss and absence of particular body parts impacts biological function and distinguishing these effects from the costs of regenerating those same body parts. These effects have included altered tolerance to environmental stressors, reduced reproductive investment, and decreased lifespan. Linking experimental results to ecological significance of injury, including repeated injury, remains a focal challenge of my work. I am also engaged in projects to determine how environmental factors, both biotic and abiotic, may affect the prevalence and severity of injury and the consequences injury may have on freshwater annelid populations and the communities in which they exist.


    Biographical Info

    I am currently a PhD candidate in the Biological Sciences program at the University of Maryland, College Park in the laboratory of Dr. Alexandra Bely. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2013, where I was mentored by Dr. Terry Snell. I was born and raised in the Atlanta, GA area. Powder Springs Elementary spelling bee champion of '02. When not teaching or working on my dissertation, I enjoy writing and playing music, being in nature, cooking, reading (politics, philosophy, & horror mostly—and a little bit of science, too), and writing fiction.


    Kelsi Rutledge
    Biomechanic, Organismal Biologist
    PhD Student
    UCLA
    kelsi.rutledge@gmail.com
    Personal Website
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    I am generally interested in how animals move and sense in their environment. My current research explores the macroscale principles of chemoreception in batoid fishes, specifically how their nasal morphology influences odorant capture at differing Reynolds numbers. Additional questions I have pursued and published on include: the material properties and mechanics of stingray jaws, the kinematics of rigid-body boxfish swimming, guitarfish taxonomy and systematics, and the ecology of fishes living in restored reef habitats.


    Biographical Info

    I am a PhD student at UCLA where I collaborate interdepartmentally with biology and mechanical engineering.


    Scott Santos
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor & Chair
    Auburn University
    Department of Biological Sciences
    santos@auburn.edu
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    Research in the Santos Lab focuses on population genetics, resource conservation, genomic evolution and symbiosis biology in aquatic (both freshwater and marine) and terrestrial microbes and multi-cellular organisms. We utilize a variety of molecular tools and computational approaches in these pursuits.


    Biographical Info

    Scott Ross Santos earned his Bachelor in Science (with Distinction) in Zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1996 and his PhD from the Department of Biological Sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Minority Graduate Fellow in 2002. Following a two-year postdoctoral position at the University of Arizona, Scott accepted an assistant professorship in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama in 2004. Along with serving as a Program Director in the Division of Integrated Organismal Systems (IOS) at the National Science Foundation from 2015-2017, he currently is Professor & Chair Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University.


    Keywords: microbial symbiosis, microbial community structure, coral reef ecology, anchialine ecosystem, computational biology
    Sasha Seroy
    Modeler, Organismal Biologist
    PhD Graduate Student
    University of Washington
    School of Oceanography
    sseroy@uw.edu
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    Investigating how effects of changing ocean conditions on organismal traits and species interactions propagate through marine communities by combining


    Biographical Info

    Sasha Seroy is a PhD student in Oceanography at the University of Washington. She studies how marine communities are responding to changing ocean conditions, with a focus on marine invertebrates. Sasha is actively involved in K-12 STEM education, developing and facilitating sensor building programs at local high schools. She also draws science cartoons and runs the weekly science comic strip "Interviews with Invertebrates." Prior to attending graduate school Sasha received her BS in Biology from Stony Brook University, and worked as an environmental educator at Frost Valley YMCA and as a museum educator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.


    Keywords: computational biology
    Mark Smithson
    Modeler, Organismal Biologist
    Mr.
    Washington State University
    mark.smithson@wsu.edu
    Research Summary

    My research interests live at the intersection of ecology, evolution, and genetics. One aspect of my research focuses on the ecological, evolutionary, and molecular origins of trait variation. Over the past several years, I have investigated the role of epigenetic variation in adaptive responses to environmental variation (i.e., within generation plasticity, trans-generation plasticity, natural selection). To investigate the stability of habitat-specific DNA methylation and adaptive trait variation in wild populations, I combine trans-generational experiments and next generation sequencing. To explore the role of epigenetic variation in different ecological and evolutionary scenarios, I use mathematical models and computer simulations. I have also used these theoretical approaches to study the epidemiological and evolutionary challenges of different transmissible vaccine designs.


    Biographical Info

    My interest in research was originally inspired by the diversity in form and function found among invertebrate animals, as well as birds. I earned a B.S. in Biology from the College of William and Mary where I studied questions related to the ecology and development of juvenile green sea urchins with Dr. Jonathan Allen. Currently, I am a Ph.D. Candidate in School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University where I study evolutionary ecology and ecological epigenetics. My research focuses on the molecular processes that underlie trait variation and how eco-evolutionary processes shape that variation in populations. During my time at WSU, I have enjoyed serving as a TA for introductory biology, evolutionary biology, invertebrate biology, parasitology, and marine ecology courses.


    Alyssa Stark
    Biomechanic, Ecomechanic, Organismal Biologist
    Assistant Professor
    Villanova University
    alyssa.stark@villanova.edu
    Website
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    The Stark Lab uses an integrative approach to explore how environmental factors affect the performance, behavior, and morphology of biological organisms. Specifically, we integrate laboratory and field-based methods rooted in biology, with analytical and theoretical methods from physics, chemistry, and material science. Most of our work is focused on using geckos, ants, and sea urchins to explore questions about the functional morphology of adhesion. Additional areas of interest include biomechanics of locomotion and the functional properties of biological materials. With the help of collaborators, we also help to develop and refine bio-inspired designs, and biomimetic practices and education.


    Biographical Info

    2017-2020 Assistant Professor, Villanova University, PA

    2014-2017 Postdoctoral Associate, University of Louisville, KY

    2014 Ph. D. Integrated Bioscience, University of Akron, OH

    2006 B. S. Animal Biology, University of California, Davis, CA

    2005 ARAD. Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance, The Royal Academy of Dance, UK

    2004 A. A. Associates Degree, Santa Rosa Junior College, CA